With the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach pushed to the max with the congestion of container ships waiting to be offloaded, product shortages across the U.S. are plaguing retailers spiraling down to the consumer level.

Compounding the issue is the lack of truck drivers to transport the goods across the retail market, adding to the woes that retailers are facing, despite President Joe Biden announcing last week that the ports will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to try and alleviate the bottleneck that has occurred.

Until the situation corrects itself, prices have spiked on many products, and others are scarce if available in stores at all. Some retailers have placed limits on high-demand items to ensure that more shoppers are able to purchase these essentials.

Here’s a look at what products consumers may see limited quantities of in the near term.

Toilet Paper

Again, a toilet paper crunch is squeezing retailers and consumers who are unable to get their hands on paper products. As far back as August, consumers were reporting on social media that shelves were bare of toilet paper as some shoppers began hoarding the essential item in fear of another wave of the virus, much like was seen at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Now, toilet paper is hard to find due to wood pulp shortages and only 60% of orders of products are being shipped out, according to Fox News and as reported by USA Today.

Carbonated Beverages

Those fizzy drinks may also be hard to find as the cost of producing CO2 to create the carbonation in these beverages has increased, leading to a shortage. Fertilizer plants that produce carbon dioxide have reduced their output, which is why consumers may not be seeing their favorite carbonated drinks on store shelves, USA Today said.


Chicken shortages are continuing, a problem that started back in May. Not only is chicken supply affecting consumers, who are cooking at home more, but restaurant chains are feeling the pinch of the poultry shortage, causing them to increase their prices and limit some chicken menu items.


One of the worst droughts seen in Brazil in years has affected the coffee bean production in the country, causing a major disruption to the supply of coffee at retailers across the world. The cost of coffee is also expected to see a price increase due to the weather conditions and additional transport issues.


The price of diapers is on the rise as Procter & Gamble, which produces Pampers and Luvs, and Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies, announced back in April they were increasing the prices of some of their paper products, including diapers, due to a rise in raw material costs. The companies also cited shipping delays and a shortage of shipping containers contributing to the higher costs.

Fish Products

According to USA Today, a border dispute between the U.S. and Canada is halting the import of Alaskan pollock, which is used for fish sticks and sandwich patties. This could lead to further transportation issues of fish and other seafood supply chain issues as the U.S. claims shippers are violating the Jones Act that requires goods to be shipped between U.S. ports in U.S.-owned ships, the news outlet said.

Frozen Meals

The demand for frozen meals and other ready-made foods has increased as some consumers have become concerned about their food supply, Rodney Holcomb, a food economist at Oklahoma State University, told WHTM, an ABC affiliate out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in August.

Holcomb also said a shortage of aluminum is making products such as canned products like sodas, soups and canned meats hard to find.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Labor shortages are causing some flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be in short supply as parent company Unilever announced in September that it was reducing the number of flavors it was producing of the product as a result, USA Today reported. To compensate for the shortage of workers, Unilever said it would focus on producing the most popular Ben & Jerry flavors to meet consumer demand.

A shopper looks for items on nearly empty Walmart shelves in Boynton Beach ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian A shopper looks for items on nearly empty Walmart shelves in Boynton Beach. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / JOE RAEDLE